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minute that you were roused from your lair :tell us what o'clock it is by you now ?”
Is it after the manner ye behaved to me?” returned the voter; " By Jasus ! I wouldn't give ye the satisfaction of telling ye the time o' day: let the same watch that tould ye when I comed, inform ye of the time when I made my escape from sich incivility; so, good morning to ye, Mister Counsellor Barrett !”
FRENCH EMIGRANTS IN ENGLAND.
Among this body of unfortunate foreigners, a certain M. Dumont was well known and esteemed by many individuals of rank and literature in London. Dumont was of a lively character, and he contrived to make his companionship agreeable, in spite of his eternal citations from “ Les Jardins" of his friend, the Abbé de Lisle. Whilst the storm of the French revolution was only yet impending, Dumont transmitted to England a considerable portion of his property, and subsequently lived here in easy and tranquil independence, giving frequent petits soupers, in the Parisian taste, where many of the most intelligent of the emigrants used to assemble,
Dumont was also a frequent and welcome
visitant at Lansdowne-House, and was beloved and valued by many persons of high distinction, English or foreign. From morning to night he was employed in acts of beneficence towards his less fortunate countrymen. It was silent unostentatious beneficence, which, working its way, like a subterraneous current, never alarmed the pride or the delicacy of those whose hearts it gladdened.
Can there be a more unquestionable test of true and unaffected benevolence than these quiet ministerings to want and woe? Our emigrant used to remark, and that too without the satisfactions of national self-love, which would derive a complacency from the contrast, too often to be found in this respect, amongst our own countrymen, that he scarcely ever met with an instance of an unworthy return of his kindness either in actual ingratitude, or an improvident and extravagant abuse of it. Amid that gloomy wreck of all their comforts, the emigrants lived with the most scrupulous economy, feeling a species of cheerfulness, if not of gladness, under every privation. And of these were many whose splendid hotels were, not many months before, scenes of unfailing plenty, elegant hospitality, and social gladness. Indigence did not affright them, nor lull them into that supine and cheerless indolence, that torpid inactivity of the mind and its faculties, the most fearful adversary which he, on whom the hand of Heaven lies heavy, has to encounter.
Their little accomplishments, once the spontaneous amusements of their leisure, were now resorted to as the sources of existence. Marquisses, Counts, Barons, taught Italian, French, music, drawing, and even dancing. English charity was not withheld on this occasion; but it was almost a nation holding out its hands for food. The pensions afforded by the British government were necessarily limited.
Dumont mentioned to us a remarkable and affecting instance, in which a widowed lady, la Marquise de *****, of high birth and almost royal ancestry, had refused the pension proffered to her, and had retired to a garret, where she was literally pining in want. Such was almost the insane excess to which she carried her feelings of delicacy and dignity.
In this melancholy exigence, the poor lady was found by one of her compatriots, who had formerly belonged to her household, and had been one of her confidential laquais. He was indefatigable in discovering her retreat, and many an inquiry had been baffled before he found it. From his own scanty pittance he contrived to protract the existence of his unfortunate mistress, though the little that was left was barely adequate to sustain his own. Lest this might be discovered by the jealous pride of his mistress, with an amiable hypocrisy, he assured her that there was quite enough for both, beseeching her not to abridge her repasts.
As nature, however, could not go on long in this way, he conquered his sense of debasement, and stationed himself as a beggar, from morn till night, at the entrance of a well-frequented alley at the west end of the town. The slender gains of this occupation he carried home every night ;